Card-Carrying Workers Send a Message

December 22, 2000 ( - In a scene reminiscent of "It's A Wonderful Life," more than 4,000 union workers at troubled Pillowtex have been sending thousands of Christmas cards urging lead creditor Bank of America to help protect worker jobs.

The cards contained the message “Don’t be a Grinch this holiday season!”

Restructuring Plan

Pillowtex defaulted on $650 million in loans to about 40 creditors last month. Bank of America is leading a group of them, who lent Pillowtex another $150 million to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

“At the end of the day, Bank of America is going to have a big say about whether plants will close,” said Richard Resua, district manager of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, told the Charlotte Observer. “This is the beginning of our campaign to let them know eyes are on them.”

In addition to the US mail, about 900 cards were sent via United Parcel Service (UPS). But since no one at the bank signed for the cards, they were returned. Undeterred, the union is resending through the Post Office.

Pillowtex was not part of the card campaign.

Dallas-based Pillowtex, one of the nation’s top three home-furnishings makers, has struggled with slowing sales and a crushing debt load from its 1997 acquisition of Fieldcrest Cannon.

– Nevin Adams